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Finding the right skin expert:

I often talk about services or products that will help my patients to achieve their skin goals. I write about using home care properly or about the benefits of medical grade products and services versus store or spa grade but what about choosing a great medical esthetician/ skin care specialist? What should you look for when finding the ideal skin guru to guide you along the path to skin greatness?

Well, we can start with the obvious. Location, location, location! No, I don’t necessarily mean to seek out an esthetician that just works around the corner, I mean to start with a dermatologist’s office. Not only will you be dealing with the experts, but you know the caliber of their staff will be of a higher grade.

I once worked for a doctor who was very good at what she did. However, she knew nothing about skin, lasers or products. How could I learn from her when she came to me all the time with questions? I couldn’t grow as a medical esthetician, and therefore was not able to keep up with the ever changing world of skin solutions.

Another obvious trait is how well you interact, especially during the consult, with your esthetician. Is she attentive, listening to what you are telling her, and asking appropriate questions to help solve your concerns? Is she empathetic to your lifestyle, finances, and available time? She should give options that appeal to your concerns while addressing how her choices may fit into your personal lifestyle. Is she flexible and able to offer options that don’t break your bank? Does she speak to you respectfully, as well as to her peers, in a positive manner? 

No matter how much experience or education we have, we are not perfect. Any esthetician who tells you she is always right and is not willing to concede on occasion, is most likely too rigid in her opinion and working on ego rather than the best interest of the patient.

On a weekly basis we meet with our dermatologists. I pull out my little purple book with questions from patients that I feel I need another opinion on. Sometimes if I am stumped, I ask my patient to give me a few days to research or enquire with the doctors to find the best solution for their problem. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a beautiful face!

Once you have found a skin specialist who fits the bill, it is a good idea to stick with her. She will get to know you, your skin, and your potential goals. Hopping from one place to another, with multiple opinions can only get confusing. Your technician should be able to give you options without you having to sort through a ton of information. You should feel comfortable with your decisions before embarking on a series of services or home care. Keep in mind that we may be the experts, but you are always in the driving seat, and you will only comply with proper protocol if you believe in your esthetician and know she has your best interest in mind.

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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